Chiefs Broncos Football

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) loses a fumble after being hit by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Melvin Ingram, right, before outside linebacker Nick Bolton (54) returned it for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER — Running back Melvin Gordon knows that Saturday could have been his last day in a Broncos uniform. 

An impending free agent, Gordon's future in Denver is up in the air. He tried to make the most of it, savoring every moment at Empower Field on Saturday in case it was indeed his last time as a member of the home team. He got emotional as he left the field, even gifting a pair of cleats to a young fan. 

"If I wasn't sore I probably would have given him a jersey," Gordon said. "Just soaking it in, taking it for what it is. Just thought I'd make a kids day on the way out."

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As for his playing on Sunday, that'll leave mixed memories in fans mind. His stat line is impressive, 110 yards on 12 carries and a 47-yard touchdown. But a fumble in the fourth quarter, which the Chiefs returned for a touchdown, was what ultimately sealed the win for the Chiefs. 

"It just happened so fast," Gordon said. "I don't think I really had full control of the ball yet. ... I've got to be better there. It was a tough play."

Gordon started his career with the Chargers, then signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Broncos prior to the start of the 2020 season. He rushed for just under 1000 yards in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, finishing with 9 and 8 touchdowns respectively. 

"He is a workforce," quarterback Drew Lock said. "I wouldn't want to be on the other side trying to tackle him ... Melvin showed the type of back he can be. He can do it all."

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Now the Broncos have a choice to make. Gordon has proven his worth, but Denver has Javonte Williams, their dynamic rookie, who can take over as the primary back next season. Williams, who was drafted in the second round last year, rushed for 903 yards in his first season. 

"It's all up in the air," Gordon said. "That will play out eventually."

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